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The penny drops….

I’m now 4 months into my Marketing Academy experience and still pinching myself about it all.

Since I gained my scholarship in May I have experienced:

  • a mildly overwhelming night at the O2
  • an inspiring 3 day bootcamp, where I spent time with my fellow scholars and learnt about leadership on the impactful Living Leader programme
  • 6 hours of amazing mentoring with Andy Fennell, Phil Rumbol and Martin Moll
  • 6 hours of coaching from my fantastic coach Carroll Macey
  • Half a day spent getting to know my assigned charity, Harmless, and identifying how best I can apply my skills to add value to their marketing activity

On top of that, I’ve been striving to be the best I can be in my role, doing rather a lot of work travel and ensuring I spend time with my husband, friends and family. To be honest, it’s all been a bit immense!

Last week though, the penny dropped and I achieved some kind of clarity…..

I had been treating all of these activities and experiences with The Marketing Academy as individual points of learning and, whilst driving back from my meeting with Martin Moll (Marketing Director for Honda UK), something clicked and things magically joined up into something I know will be very powerful for me and my development.

During the drive, I was reflecting on Martin’s advice to develop 3 affirmations about yourself as a leader that you would feel confident in sharing with others and could self-evaluate your performance against. Weeks before, I’d heard something very similar from Phil Rumbol (“identify your unique differentiators, understand what value they add to your business and how they show-up in what you do”) and Andy Fennel (“know what you stand for and stay true to it”).

The more I thought about it, I realised this was a huge part of what the Living Leader programme was all about – leadership authenticity – and in order to achieve this, you had to understand what was authentically you.

It just so happened that on Friday, it the midst of all these connections being made, I had a coaching session. Carroll, my coach, listened to my ramblings and helped me understand what this meant to me, what kind of leader I wanted to be known as and how this would show-up in what I did and the decisions I took. It was a hard session. Carroll’s probes and prompts made my head ache and stopped my ever-constant chat in its tracks, as I truly reflected on my affirmations/differentiators/what I stand for.

In fact, I didn’t solve it in the session. It wasn’t until I was driving home later that night that a deceptively simple, but personally powerful statement came to me that embodied everything we had talked about (there is clearly something about my mind clearing in cars  – I should drive more!).

So, here it is…

“I am a marketing leader who makes the right things happen and enables good people to become great”

Am I 100% living this now? No, I have a way to go….But do I feel 100% committed to making this happen? Absolutely, and with every opportunity The Marketing Academy gives me, I know I get closer to it.

In conclusion, I have learnt…..

  • To listen
  • To reflect
  • To challenge
  • …and then to drive around a lot until it all makes sense and you can join the dots

Not too bad for 4 months in…..


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